RCMP and Manitoba tax officials have seized 1.45 million contraband cigarettes, hundreds of thousands in cash and some guns from two homes in the Rural Municipality of Rosser, just outside Winnipeg.
Officials said a raid on two homes Feb. 2 netted the cigarettes, along with $418,000 in cash and $5,200 in U.S. funds. As well, police and members of the Manitoba Finance Special Insvestigations Unit seized a pair of loaded hanguns and three long guns.
A spokesman for Manitoba Finance, David Couprie, said it was a large raid. "The loss to Manitoba, just in tobacco taxes, would have been in the rough guestimate of $325,000 .... if these cigarettes had been sold on the street," he said.
Two brothers, age 66 and 67 and a woman, 48, face charges for possession of non-Manitoba-marked tobacco. Each faces a potential tax penalty of almost $1-million, up to three months in jail and fines of up to $10,000 if convicted. One of the three also faces firearms-related charges.